Saturday, December 01, 2007

How does time fly?

It is amazing how quickly time passes by. It seems like only a few months ago that I was making new resolutions and challenging myself not to mistakenly write 2006 on documents and so on. Yet, a lot has happened during this time period. I’m about to finish a second semester, I’ve gone to Brazil and back, I’m learning a new language, I’ve made more friends, I’m a little older and a little wiser, and the list goes on. I think it is a good practice, especially mid year, at year end, or both, to take a moment to recognize and maybe even document the ways that we have changed, for the better or for the worse. What attributes have we acquired or denounced? What attributes have we improved on or are we just noticing about ourselves? What have we done and what would we like to do or accomplish? The consequence of this practice is that a decade from now, who we are will not be a surprise to us because we have been actively involved in the process of shaping who we become.

Time is neither our friend nor our enemy, or another way of saying this is that we can choose what time becomes to us. One of the things to realize about our relationship with time is that it has an end; it has a specific life span with each person. We should then recognize that time has two flight patterns: a relatively straight or progressive course to the end (the “just living course”) OR a punctuated course with frequent altered directions. Failure to understand how time flies can lead to feeling that time is an enemy, and almost always results from following time along its straight course, with our characteristic little input or influence on its behavior. However, if we understand that time has different flight patterns, we can then accept the seemingly radical idea that we can stop time. So how do we stop time? We stop time by understanding that we have a limited association with time AND, consequently, evaluating our use of time and whether it is in an efficient and beneficial manner. What does this mean? It means that we follow the punctuated course of time. We stop time by momentarily stopping our activities, being still and allowing our mind to evaluate the effects of its past or current actions. And based on this evaluation alter where time goes, in order to serve our maximal benefit. Each time we make a change in ourselves, in what we do, and how we behave, we have consciously or subconsciously stopped time in order to put these changes into effect.

To prevent seeing time as an enemy, we need to more actively and consciously stop time, to engage it in a discussion about where it is going. We have the power to maximize or minimize our relationship with time. We can be passive in our relationship with it and be filled with bitterness and all sorts of negativity from:
(a) not being or feeling in control of time
(b) not being cognizant about the effect of our current actions
(c) not staking a claim to the future—not involving the future in our present.
Alternatively, we can be active in our relationship, by constantly reevaluating where we and are going and whether it is desirable, and put time to work for our maximal benefit.

I know it's easier said than done, but don’t let time fly by without stopping to chat with it!!

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